The Lake Baikal Region of Siberia is a true land of Mystery and Wonder. The Lake itself is an incredible testament to the glory and wonder of God’s Creation. As the world’s most ancient and deepest lake it sits upon a fault line that is predicted to split Asia in half.
Lake Baikal contains more water than all the North American Great Lakes combined and represents a staggering 20% of the entire planets fresh water supply. It’s waters abound with Nerpa, the world’s only fresh water seals.
Home to many islands, the island of Olkhan is legendary as a sacred place. In fact it is rumoured to be the actual burial place of Genghis Khan. The people of the region are known as the Buryat and Lake Baikal is a Sacred Sea to them.
Tibetan Lamaist Buddhism is said to arrive in the region a mere 300-200 years ago. It is currently the prominent form of the regions Buddhism, yet history proves the presence of other schools of Buddhism going back many centuries.
Upon the arrival of Tibetan Lamaist Buddhism to the Lake Baikal Region, a harmonious blending of Siberian Shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism occured. The Buddhists missionaries inscribed Sanskrit prayers in a Sacred Cave on the Lake Baikal Island of Olkhan. These inscriptions clearly use the Sacred Mongol/Turkic name of God Tengri in reference to Lord Buddha.
The first words of one prayer read, “Om Burchan Tingiri!”
“The local population make sacrifices in honor of the rock, where in one place mysterious Sanskrit inscriptions are engraved.” Source
Tengri is a sacred name of God and is intentionally and ignorantly mistranslated as ‘Heaven’. In fact it means God. Thus even today some Islamic Turkish tribes apply the name Tengri as being equal and just as authentic as the holy name of Allah.
Undoubtedly we find a direct link between Vishnu and Tengri
The Mongols themselves identify their Supreme God as Koke Mongke Tengri which literally means “Blue Eternal God.” Religious Exclusivists and Atheists ludicrously translate it to mean “Eternal Blue Sky” despite the very words themselves being “Blue Eternal God.”
Siberia’s Tibetan Buddhists were not the first to identify Tengri and Buddha as one. It is a recognition that goes back thousands of years. The Vaishnava traditions of India identify this same Buddha as a Vishnu Avatar. Combining this fact with the Buddhist recognition of Tengri as a form of Buddha with the Turkic Muslim prayers identifying Allah as Tengri, we find a direct link connecting Vishnu/Krishna, Buddha, Allah and Tengri. Clearly the same Divine Lord is at the Foundation of these four prominent world religious traditions.
I’d love to end the article there but it would be a disservice to the truth and to the people of Lake Baikal. Their experiences under the brutality of Soviet rule and their cultural revival serve as both a stark warning and a beacon of hopeful inspiration to the world.
Despite 70 years of enforced Soviet Marxist cultural sterilization, Native traditions have not only recovered, but are now flourishing.
They were uprooted for decades and kept from practicing their cultural traditions. Now Buryat shamanism is blossoming once again at Lake Baikal – the Sacred Sea, as it is called in Siberia.
A 2016 Deutsche Welle article highlights the detrimental impact of Communism on the local culture. Highlighting this reality, the article quotes a Buryat Shaman named Irina Tanganova.
“For 70 years the Buryats, like other Soviet citizens, had to believe in the USSR, learn Russian and memorize the “Moral Code of the Builder of Communism.” Many forgot their own language during that time, not to mention their religion.”I found my faith later. Much later, when I turned 60,” confesses Irina. “My grandmother was a shaman, too. But not my mother, she lived during Soviet times and was not allowed to be. That is why she died so young.”
As the Marxist assault upon the Western world and India rages on, it behooves people to investigate the experiences of those who actually lived through the cultural sterilization and genocide that is Communism. These forces target religion, family and the nation state. Not based upon altruistic social motivations, but in order to remove and supplant indigenous power structures. As history proves, once these native societal structures are gone, the next step is slavery or the gulag.
In closing I share a quote from a 1995 article from Sacred Sites. It features a Buryat bemoaning the loss of their tradition culture. “Baikal lake has numerous sacred sites and monuments. The challenge for today is preserving this time honored sacred place, one of the world’s most unique regions. In the words of one Buryat, “In ancient times all life was considered sacred. Now those times are gone, nobody thinks about it any more.” Now the authors of this article join with other concerned people around the world in bringing attention to the great northern sacred sea.”